John Stowell, 23, from Haverfordwest, and Gareth Godwin, 21, from Pontypool, both secured 2:1 degrees and are now working as firefighters at Pontypridd fire station, just around the corner from USW's Treforest campus.
Having seen family members become firefighters, they decided to apply to South Wales Fire and Rescue Service during their studies. After a gruelling few months of training, John and Gareth were able to combine their studies with being called out to fires and rescue situations – giving them vital real-life experience of their future career.
“Becoming a retained firefighter is the best decision I could have made,” said John. “My lecturers have been so supportive of my part-time work and I’ve been able to fit my shifts in around studying.”
John and Gareth are now applying for whole-time firefighter roles across the country, having gained fantastic results from university. “There’s great camaraderie between us all at the fire station" said Gareth. "Whilst it’s an intense job and difficult at times, it’s so rewarding and I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
The Public Services degree at USW gives students opportunities to enter a wide range of careers, such as prison officers, paramedics, police call handlers, housing officers, youth workers and teachers.
For more details on applying to become a retained firefighter, visit http://www.southwales-fire.gov.uk.